At the beginning of the month, several people messaged me on Instagram to say they were looking forward to seeing what I’d make for this year’s gingerbread creation.
I was flattered. I was also looking forward to seeing how far my cookie genius would take me.
Last year’s Ambani Gingerhouse involved the brilliance of molds made out of leftover gingerbread dough to create perfectly-sized hard candy windows. It also required working in the presence of two curious cats, and with limited counter space.
It wasn’t enough to woo the judges of the online contest I entered, but when I edited last year’s post to announce my defeat, I also mentioned recruiting a friend for 2019’s project.
Tammy is someone who, like me, is delighted to go overboard on baking projects. She specializes in not being able to decide which cake to bake; instead, she bakes them all to stack atop one another. In 2017, for her boyfriend’s birthday, she served up a cake that was about a foot tall and took her well into the wee hours of the night to make. As one of the attendees at this birthday party, I got to eat this magnificent cake.
Anyway! I asked her what she had in mind for our gingerbread project.
In 2002, a deaf friend came for a visit and stayed with me in Vancouver. During that time, the roll of film that I had dropped off at the drugstore a few days earlier had been printed and was ready for pick-up. (The excitement of seeing your photo prints has been taken from us since the popularization of digital cameras.) I wasted no time and dragged my guest to the drugstore. We sat on the curb out front to look through the photos, but before I opened the envelope, I warned her that the images were not for the faint of heart.
She’s one my best friends. Surely she’d approach this with an open mind, I thought.
I was able to track Ed’s every move through WhatsApp upon his arrival in Vancouver. His first bite of Canadian food came from Tim Horton’s which is a chain fast food/coffee shop that many Canadians are somehow proud of. Their donuts are mediocre, and their employees are always poorly trained and often are entirely befuddled when it comes to serving deaf customers.
But, a donut is still a donut. When Yann and I find ourselves at Tim Hortons, he already knows my order. When I order myself, though, the cashier usually passes out from the complexity of having to read an order off the screen of a smartphone and requires medical attention. It’s a lot to tolerate just for a glazed chocolate donut.
If nobody showed off, we wouldn’t have pro athletes, artists, or stunt people. The whole point of Instagram is to show off, whether it be your hot bod, hot bowl of ramen, or in my case, the demonic balls of fluff that are my cats.
There is one month of the year when cookie architects get the most attention: this one. December.
When I’m not juggling greasy bike parts, I’m mashing my oily meathooks into gingerbread dough. I design buildings nobody can inhabit, just ingest. And I am good at it.
Without further ado, I shall show off, starting with last year’s saccharine behemoth:
An unexpected side effect of missing a week of work due to injury/being on stupefacient drugs is not knowing what to do with myself.
At the beginning of the week, I was in too much pain to be productive. Along with numbing the pain, the medication I was on was also numbing my cognitive abilities. I even succeed in losing loaf of bread immediately after putting it away someplace odd.
It had been a long time since I’ve managed to get so little done in so much time; however, yesterday I was able to grasp a pencil and rub some graphite into my sketchbook.